Thursday, July 23, 2009
Training is reminding us that mission is not about competence, it's about relationships. Accomplishments and goals are far less important than the day to day interactions we have with the people (particularly the children we're working with). It's a tough transition to make, especially coming from such a goal-oriented culture. Thinking about these challenges is not as intimidating as I expected. We're reminded every day to think about our motivation and purpose. How did we get here? Why are we staying?
I suppose I owe my family some of those answers too. The easiest answer is to say it's a calling. God asked, I'm answering, simple as that. It's true, but not terribly enlightening for everyone else. A lot of the people here would answer similarly. We have a deep desire to serve people. We want to learn to love better by serving the communities receiving us. Why do we have to leave to do that? Nouwen reminds us that displacing ourselves allows us to find our identity outside of the competition and constant striving of our "reglar" lives. We're forced to understand ourselves as weak. As I mentioned above, we're completely dependent upon our communities. We sound like children. We're sick all the time. It's not exactly glamorous., but His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Recently we were treated to a concert by our own SLM leader and his Andean folk band. We also had a chance to learn a few moves from a young woman from Bolivia.
I'm not sure which was better, getting a preview of what's awaiting my partner Johanna and I, or having our "after party" (comprised of about 35 missionaries dancing behind an old convent to latin music) shut down by the police for noise violation. At 9:45 pm. Oh, Ossining...